FBI Reports Small Drop in Crime Rates

WASHINGTON—Overall violent crime decreased 1.4 percent last year in the United States, but the number of reported murders and rapes increased by 0.8 percent and 4 percent respectively, according to FBI preliminary figures. The crime index is made up of numbers on seven offenses, including violent crimes and property crimes.

The number of robberies in 2002 decreased 1.2 percent from the 2001 total, and the overall property crime total remained the same compared with the 2001 total. Burglaries increased 1.5 percent.

The Northeast region reported a 3.3-percent drop in overall crime last year, the biggest decrease among all regions. The West was the only region to report an increase in overall crime—2.9 percent. Among different cities grouped by their populations, those with populations of 250,000 to 500,000 experienced the biggest decline (1.9 percent), while those with populations of 50,000 to 100,000 saw the biggest increase (1.2 percent).

Overall, crime went up by 2.1 percent in 2001 compared with 2000. The FBI’s Uniform Crime report is based on numbers provided by police agencies across the country.

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